Pros:Easy instructions, clear and colorful photographs
Cons:Some projects have no instructions
The Bottom Line: You don't have to be a great painter to duplicate these projects. The step by step directions are easy enough for anyone to follow.
Even though another book in this series by the same author is in the database, I discovered this one wasnít. A generic category will have to suffice.
Recommend this product?
When I was a child my sister, friends and I used to collect smooth, round rocks from Lake Superior . We would paint them with faces, flowers or animals and use them to decorate or have an art show for all of our neighbors. Then last year my sister brought a book to my motherís house called Painting Animals on Rocks by Lin Wellford.
My sister has always been extremely talented and crafty. Sheís able to reproduce any decorative object known to man. We had fun during that vacation painting rocks to look like realistic coiled snakes, turtles, ladybugs and more elaborate animals. I found out the author also has several other books including Painting Flowers on Rocks, Painting Pets on Rocks, Painting More Animals on Rocks and Painting Cottages on Rocks.
Eventually I bought a copy of Painting Flowers on Rocks after painting all the animals from sisterís book I was capable of painting. The best place to buy these books is at Michaels Craft Stores. They always have 40% off coupons available, and sometimes even 50%. With the discount I paid about $11 for the book, which is a large soft cover edition with 128 pages.
The book is not set up in chapters. Instead it begins with a list of supplies you will need including large rocks of various shapes, an assortment of paints (she recommends Deco Art Patio Paints), and brushes of various sizes. If you donít use paints that are safe for the outdoors on these projects, you will also need an acrylic spray or varnish if you display them outside.
It goes on to give detailed instructions for painting extremely realistic looking flowers and foliage. She also tells about which size and shape of rock you will need for each project. There are tips on where to find good rocks. I have found the best ones in the woods and lakes of Michigan. Around here in New Jersey itís a bit more difficult.
The instructions are numbered step by step and very detailed. Most projects begin with a chalk outline of your flower. The outline is filled in and then the intricate details are added. Finally, the finished product is ready for display. Her displays often use real baskets in which one or many painted are placed. Many of the flower painted rocks require no other props and are simply displayed on their own.
The table of contents lists each project. The projects are:
How to Paint Primroses
How to Paint Tulips
How to Paint Daisies
How to Paint Hostas
How to Paint Pansies
How to Paint Mums
How to Paint Wreaths of Roses
How to Paint a Flower Basket
When the instructions are complete, the author includes a section titled ĎMore Ideasí where she shows variations of the project such as different colors or layout. The only problem with this is that I often like the other ideas but find them difficult to produce without instructions. She does the same with other books. The book shows pictures of beautiful sunflowers but Iím not sure I could paint them without step by step instructions.
Difficulty of Projects
Painting the rocks to look like the pictures takes a certain amount of artistic ability. Iíve always enjoyed drawing but painting does not come naturally to me. I have been more successful with some than others. I found roses easier than hostas, for example. My roses turned out to look a lot like they do in the book, more so than some of my other efforts. However, I was surprised that all of the rocks I have done have turned out reasonably well. Looking at the flowers at first it seems impossible to duplicate them. It offers the challege of painting in 3-D because the rocks are normally upright, not flat, and you paint all the way around it. You donít need to be a natural artist with paints to be able to get good results. The instructions are so detailed and relatively simple that you may be surprised what you can create.
Why Paint Rocks
Iíll paraphrase the introductions given by the author. She describes ďthe thrill of making something beautiful from an ordinary rockĒ. She likes that each is a one of a kind creation because while rocks are common and plentiful, each is unique. Her creations are so lifelike people often exclaim, ďI canít believe this is just a rock!Ē They are an exciting and inexpensive material for artistic expression. They will never wilt or lose their shape and if protected with weather resistant paints or protective clear coats, can last indefinitely. Theyíre easy to clean with a damp cloth as well.
Uses For Painted Rocks
The author shows both indoor and outdoor displays such as outdoor groupings that look like a real garden. She tells of people who bring them to gravesites rather than placing flowers that will fade and die. They can be put on a mantle, coffee table, desk, and anywhere live plants would never thrive. They make nice gifts for housewarmings, birthdays and a personalized thank you. They can also be used as paperweights or bookends.
My rocks have their own purpose I live in military housing and only have a small area for gardening. There is a small patch under my front window and a triangular patch off my front porch shared with neighbors. Iíve turned the triangle into a rock garden. We first filled it with pebbles to try and keep weeds from growing. I had flowers, the pebbles and a few statues. I later added driftwood, painted rocks and seashells. Now the garden is full and is a place for me to be creative and express myself artistically. It now includes dozens of rocks that look like groups of flowers mixed in with real ones. On my front porch is a large rock with a ring of roses. In the center is our last name. The same rock is also shown in the book with house numbers rather than a name. The possibilities are endless. Only your imagination will limit you.
These books are also available at Barnes and Noble and other large bookstores. The author has developed quite a following. Reviews of her work are available on the net. I just used her name (Lin Wellford) as a search word and saw reviews from many people who are thrilled with her art. She definitely has a unique style and great talent. Anyone who loves craft projects and loves to create things will enjoy this book.
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